Volume 2, 2016 | In This Issue
The ALR Becomes the Lupus Research Alliance >
Advancing Advocacy: Making Even Greater Strides >
Meet Kathleen Arntsen: Advocate Extraordinaire >
The ALR Becomes The Lupus Research Alliance
More than a change in name, the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) has taken a major step in ramping up its ability to defeat lupus by merging with two other giants in the field — the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and the SLE Lupus Foundation (SLE).
As of July 1, 2016, our new organization is the Lupus Research Alliance.
The decision was years in the making — in fact, when the ALR was founded in 1999, we specifically chose the word "alliance" to be in our name. Among our many aims, we envisioned a scientific community that would be inspired and motivated by greater collaboration.
Today — through the newly created Lupus Research Alliance — the best and the brightest scientists, scholars, technicians, and administrators of three leading lupus organizations will work as one.
Our ambitious goal is to make even greater advances in treatment options for people who cope with the often-debilitating effects of the disease.
Kenneth M. Farber, Co-CEO and Co-President, Lupus Research Alliance, explains the reasoning behind the merger:
"No non-governmental organization has done more to advance the science of lupus than the Alliance for Lupus Research — that left us in a predicament: Where does the world's largest private funder of lupus research go from there and how do we become even better at making lupus a disease of the past?"
The answer was clear. By merging with the LRI and the SLE Lupus Foundation, our bold new entity — the Lupus Research Alliance — is uniquely positioned to tackle the very complex intricacies of this very complicated disease with greater facility than its legacy organizations.
Larger and with greater resources, the Lupus Research Alliance promises to usher in a new era of unprecedented scientific progress for the entire lupus community — especially lupus patients.
"It’s a thrilling moment in lupus research. We're excited by the merger and the vast potential it holds for our new organization."
Kenneth M. Farber,
Co-CEO and Co-President,
Lupus Research Alliance
A History of Collaboration
The ALR and the LRI first collaborated in 2012 in establishing the Lupus Insight Prize (along with the Lupus Foundation of America). Each year, the prize is awarded to an outstanding investigator with a solid record of achievement in lupus research and a strong probability of generating further advances in diagnosis and treatment of lupus. Next, we worked together on a unique project in the arena of lupus research — to repurpose existing drugs already approved by the FDA. Under the leadership of Dr. Peter Lipsky — who served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of both organizations — we began to identify and test specific existing drugs that might be efficacious in treating lupus. Because repurposing drugs can save years of research time — as well as millions of research dollars — the application of this initiative has the potential to radically change the landscape of lupus scientific inquiry. As an outcome of this effort, the ALR and the LRI also collaborated on the creation of LuCIN — the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network — which is about to conduct its first clinical trial. For more information on LuCIN, please click here.
Advantages Going Forward
In Research... More of the world's top-flight lupus research investigations will be funded through Lupus Research Alliance, bringing us closer and closer to new discoveries that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of lupus patients.
In Advocacy... We will be redoubling our advocacy efforts to give voice to an urgent need — more governmental funding for lupus research. Plans are also underway to expand our Multicultural Outreach Program, which reaches out to the groups most vulnerable in the lupus community.
In Industry... Pharmaceutical companies are very excited about the merger and have actually given us more money for the new investigations we'll be pursuing under the auspices of the Lupus Research Alliance.
In Fundraising... Fundraising will be bigger and better. We estimate that Lupus Research Alliance will increase its funding capacity by 100%.
In Launching a $100 Million Campaign... The new organization will have greater expertise in bringing the various facets of our constituency together. Our aim is to raise $100 million to bring greater understanding to lupus and ways to treat it.
In Garnering Goodwill and Trust... Lupus Research Alliance's newly expanded Board of Directors wishes to carry forward a unique policy. The Board has again pledged to pay for all fundraising and administrative costs so that 100% of each donor dollar will go directly to toward research programs.
In summing up the many pros of our merger, Mr. Farber said: "Our newly formed Lupus Research Alliance is comprised of dedicated individuals who share the common aspiration of defeating lupus. This merger will further empower us to lead the way to a cure."
Driving Discoveries that Make a Difference
The Lupus Research Alliance leads the quest to prevent, treat, and cure lupus through the power of science. We are driven by one central goal — to improve the lives of people living with the disease, today and in the long term. We believe scientific research is the most effective path to achieve this goal.